Coastal Preview: Bulldogs enter the fray as second round begins
Monday, March 8, 2010 - Submitted by BCHL Media
The Constal Conference semi-finals are set to begin as the Alberni Valley Bulldogs join first-round winners Powell River, Langley and Nanaimo to form a pair of exciting second round series. The Bulldogs will look to shake off the rust of a 17-day lay-off when they host the Clippers on Tuesday, while the Langley Chiefs begin their series with the second-seeded Powell River Kings on the Sunshine Coast.
#1 - Alberni Valley Bulldogs vs. #6 - Nanaimo Clippers
Alberni Valley: 45-12-1-2; 93 points
Nanaimo: 24-25-1-10; 59 points
Recent Form: The Clippers enter the series on a high after a six-game first round series win over the Victoria Grizzlies. Nanaimo showed a great deal of resiliency following a pair of home losses that had temporarily evened the series at two games apiece, battling back for a 4-1 road win before closing out the series on Friday at the Frank Crane Arena. Alberni Valley, meanwhile, is well-rested on the heels of a first-round bye. The Bulldogs were the Coastal Conference's hottest team down the stretch, losing just a pair of games in their final 25 contests.
Head-to-Head Record: If the regular season series between the clubs is any indication, the Clippers and Bulldogs may be treating fans to a handful of overtime thrillers. The teams faced off a total of eight times during the year and went beyond regulation on five occasions, with the most recent match-up resulting in a 3-2 OT win for Alberni Valley on February 19th. Nanaimo failed to beat the Coastal Conference leaders in regulation over the course of the season series, but did pick up a pair of overtime victories at the Weyerhaeuser Arena.
Players to Watch: Teal Burns has been a cluth performer for Nanaimo since joining the team early in the season from the Victoria Grizzlies. The 17-year old notched five game winners during a 49-point regular season and counted a team-leading three goals in the Clippers' first-round triumph over his old club. Alberni Valley's Mitch MacMillan enjoyed one of the most prolific goal-scoring runs in recent memory during his 20-year old season, hitting the 50-goal mark in 49 games and finishing the year with 61 tallies. The Coast's leading point-getter was magic on a line with brother Mark and David Dziuzynski, as the trio combined for 247 points during the regular season.
Game 1: Tuesday, March 9th at Alberni - 7:00 PM, Weyerhaeuser Arena
Game 2: Wednesday, March 10th at Alberni - 7:00 PM, Weyerhaeuser Arena
Game 3: Thursday, March 11th at Nanaimo - 7:00 PM, Frank Crane Arena
Game 4: Saturday, March 13th at Nanaimo - 7:30 PM, Frank Crane Arena
Game 5: Monday, March 15th at Alberni - 7:00 PM, Weyerhaeuser Arena
Game 6: Tuesday, March 16th at Nanaimo - 7:00 PM, Frank Crane Arena
Game 7: Wednesday, March 17th at Alberni - 7:00 PM, Weyerhaeuser Arena
#2 – Powell River Kings vs. #4 – Langley Chiefs
Powell River: 36-14-1-6; 79 points
Langley: 33-22-2-3; 71 points
Recent Form: Powell River did what they do best in a first-round series against Cowichan Valley, limiting the Capitals to just nine goals in five games. Defence has been the key all season for the Kings, whose 160 goals allowed were the fourth fewest in the BCHL. The Chiefs were inconsistent down the stretch during the regular season but played strong in a six-game series win over the Surrey Eagles. Langley's two losses came as a result of overtime and empty net finishes, while the Chiefs scored fewer than three goals just once during the series.
Head-to-Head Record: The Kings got the better of Langley during six regular season match-ups, winning four games while losing and tying once. Powell River was particularly strong on home ice, where they scored 23 goals in three wins. The Chiefs' long victory over their second round opponents came on home ice on September 19th. One constant when Langley and Powell River got together was scoring, and lots of it. The teams combined for 54 goals -- or nine per game -- in their six meetings.
Players to Watch: Langley's Colton Beck established himself through the regular season as one of the Coast's most dangerous offensive performers. His 86 points trailed only Alberni Valley's Mitch MacMillan amongst the conference's top scorers, and he continued his fine campaign with 11 points in six opening round games. Powell River is blessed with a great deal of offensive depth, but rookie Matt Garbowsky stood out from the pack with 12 points in five games against Cowichan Valley. The Kings' blueline foursome of Mat Bodie, Darcy Huisman, Justin Dasilva and Reid Campbell combined for 146 points, better than any other group in the conference.
Game 1: Tuesday, March 9th at Powell River- 7:00 PM, P.R. Recreation Complex
Game 2: Wednesday, March 10th at Powell River- 7:00 PM, P.R. Recreation Complex
Game 3: Friday, March 12th at Langley- 7:00 PM, Langley Events Centre
Game 4: Saturday, March 13th at Langley- 7:00 PM, Langley Events Centre
Game 5: Monday, March 15th at Powell River- 7:00 PM, P.R. Recreation Complex
Game 6: Tuesday, March 16th at Langley- 7:00 PM, Langley Events Centre
Game 7: Wednesday, March 17th at Powell River- 7:00 PM, P.R. Recreation Complex